One of the interesting processes going on at the moment is the election of chairs of select committees in Parliament, and then the members of the committees themselves.The new process is much more open and democratic, and less under the control of the Whips. But it is not without its problems. With a coalition government, Labour is left as the sole major party of opposition. But it doesn’t have a Leader or a definite Shadow Cabinet. Normally, in these circumstances, ex-Cabinet Ministers would be jockeying for the prestigious roles as Chairs of Select Committees, or at least the ones who know their Ministerial careers are definitely over would be. But Labour immediate ex-Ministers have been conspicuous by their absence in the contests for Select Committee Chairs. That is because they are balancing their chance of sliding back up the greasy pole against the immediate reward of an influential Select Committee posting – but one that would probably rule out future office. A true dilemma.
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